Girl 'creeped out' by Sydney swim teacher

Greta Stonehouse
·3-min read

The moment a mother heard her daughter describe her Sydney swimming teacher touching her inappropriately is one she will never forget, a jury has heard.

Earlier in the morning she had seen media reports of Kyle James Henk Daniels being arrested following allegations he had inappropriately touched some of his female students at a Mosman pool between 2018 and 2019.

After recognising his name she started a "my body chat" with her daughter that evening after dinner.

She spoke about "what's inappropriate ... what makes you comfortable ... what's OK, what's not OK ... private areas," she told the District Court on Tuesday.

"The reason I'm talking about this is Kyle's in trouble, he's made some girls uncomfortable," she said she told her daughter.

"I'll never forget this, I was picking up the plates and taking them into the kitchen ... and I was walking away ... when I asked 'he's never made you uncomfortable has he'?"

She said her response was that "she winced, squirmed, got really uncomfortable".

"She said 'yeah'.

"I was ... really taken aback".

The girl then explained it happened when she was sitting on his lap "when I would swim out to him, when he would catch me in the middle of the pool".

She then lifted her leg to show her mother how he would reach around her buttocks to indicate her vagina-area, saying "he grabbed me like this".

After asking her daughter why she never mentioned this earlier, the woman said "she got pretty emotional and upset ... she got teary, she was shaking, she was visually uncomfortable, she said it felt like a private thing, I remember her using the word secret and private".

Daniels, 22, has pleaded not guilty to 26 charges, including multiple counts of having sexual intercourse with a child under 10 and indecently assaulting a person under 16.

He is accused of touching nine of his students aged between five and 10 on or near their genitals while instructing them between February 2018 and February 2019 at the pool on Sydney's north shore.

After reading her daughter bedtime stories she says she brought up her swimming teacher again and asked her to demonstrate "exactly what had happened".

The girl said it was like he was pulling her swimming costume out, and then described his appearance by making circles with her fingers to indicate glasses.

She used her thumb and index finger in a "pinching motion", saying this happened "inside the vagina".

When asked how many times her teacher had touched her inappropriately she held up four fingers.

"I said, 'How did that make you feel', she said, 'It creeped me out'."

After her daughter fell asleep the woman was wide awake and immediately wrote notes documenting what she heard that night.

The notes vary slightly from her written statement to police and were the subject of intense questioning by defence lawyer Leslie Nicholls who questioned why there were discrepancies in the two, saying she later added in details.

But the woman defended her original account saying at the time her "brain is on fire", compared with her police statement later written in the calm light of day, not at midnight following such explosive allegations.

After further questioning the woman's voice quivered before she exclaimed she was getting "very upset" and needed a break, wiping tears away with a tissue.